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May 14th, 2014

Get to Know Your Minister: Steve Smith

Name: Steve Smith
Title: Communications Minister

PERSONAL
Where are you from originally?
Savannah, Georgia

Where were you educated?
Mercer University (Macon, GA) – B.A. in Communication
Rollins College (Winter Park, FL) – M.A. in Corporate Communication
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (currently in Master of Theology program)

When did you decide to give your life to Jesus and follow Him?
I asked Christ into my heart at the age of 8 in my pastor’s office following a Sunday night worship service. (Remember those?) I was baptized on Easter Sunday in 1978. I doubted my understanding of that when I was in middle school, but today I’m convinced that my “faith of a child” was sufficient for salvation when I was 8. Having grown up in a Christian home and having lived for Christ most of my life doesn't remove the challenges of life and the temptations of this world. Following Christ is a daily practice. We need His strength and His grace every minute of every day.

When were you called to ministry?
I surrendered to full-time vocational ministry when I was in college and have only served in the church for my entire adult career. I was ordained at First Baptist Orlando in 1996.

What's your wife's name?
Brandi –¬†We met in 1995 when I moved to Orlando, Florida to serve at First Baptist Church there. We've been married since October 1996.

Do you have kids?
Two girls: Ellie (14) and Olivia (10)

MINISTRY
What's your philosophy or heartbeat for ministry?
While my field of experience and training is in communications and media, I consider myself a “church man” in the sense that I’m called to serve in whatever way the Lord wants me to serve. I love the local church and can’t imagine doing anything else as a vocation.

Where did you serve before Brentwood Baptist?
I've served two other churches previously: my home church, Calvary Baptist, in Savannah, Georgia (1991-1994) and First Baptist Church of Orlando (1994-2007). Many Nashvillians remember Pastor Jim Henry from Two Rivers Baptist Church (he served there from 1968-1977). I had the honor of serving with Jim for 11 years at First Baptist Orlando.

What's your role at Brentwood Baptist?
As the Communications Minister, I have the privilege of being the lead champion for a group of talented professionals in the areas of marketing, design, web, print, and media production. There are 18 of us on staff and dozens of volunteers who provide these services to our growing congregations and campuses each and every week.

What's your vision for Brentwood Baptist?
As Communications Minister, it's aligned with what our leaders have already defined as our mission and vision. It’s my job to frame much of the communication around that vision. Our goals and objectives stem from our mission statement: “Connecting people to Jesus Christ through worship, discipleship, and service.” Currently, the church’s five, 5-year objectives and the Middle Tennessee Initiative are the focus of our mission/vision.

What's one cool God-story from your time here?
I’d say the best God-story from my 6+ years here is simply how much I’ve grown as a minister and a leader in that period of time. We're blessed with a very rich and “sophisticated” approach to leadership development and organizational stability. Not many churches are as intentional and proficient with these things. Being in this environment and serving with these leaders has been a tremendous blessing.

JUST FOR FUN
Who's your favorite person in the Bible?
Not to be cliché, but it would have to be Jesus. He embodies everything that we're called to be as Christians.

If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
I’d probably ask for clarity on the mysteries of the doctrine of salvation. It’s so simple (“call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved,”) and yet complex at the same time (the Calvinism/Arminianism debate).

What do you like to do in your free time?
Spend time with family and relax.

What are 3 interesting facts about you?
1. My “baptism by fire” with media relations was my organizing the frenzied media presence for the Payne Stewart funeral at First Baptist Orlando in 1999 following his tragic death.
2. I can barefoot waterski.
3. I once went for ten years without vomiting (1989-1999).

What are 3 words that describe you?
1. Analytical
2. Logical
3. Responsible